Dottie Frazier

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Dottie May Frazier
Born (1922-07-15) July 15, 1922 (age 99)
OccupationDiver and dive shop owner

Dottie May Frazier (born July 15, 1922) is an American diver, designer, and dive shop owner. Her life is chronicled in her autobiography, Trailblazer: The Extraordinary Life of Diving Pioneer, Dottie Frazier. She was the first female scuba instructor and the first female dive shop owner.[1]

Early life[edit]

Frazier was born on July 15, 1922 in Long Beach, California to parents Francis and Laura Davis Reider.[2][3] She was injured in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.[4]


Frazier began teaching freediving in the 1940s.[2][5] In 1955, Frazier became a certified scuba instructor and was the first woman in the United States to do so.[6][7] She also created some of the first wetsuit patterns for women.[8] The suits were developed under the name Penguin Suits in conjunction with Frazier's dive shop, Penguin Dive Shop.[9][2] Penguin was the first female-owned dive shop.[10] After the birth of her third son, Frazier founded Aqua Families, a club of divers who dove with their children.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Frazier has four sons[9] and was married three times.


Frazier was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000.[11] In 2019, Frazier was awarded the Historical Diving Society's Diving Pioneer Award.[12]


  1. ^ Denny, Megan (2017-03-23). "7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  2. ^ a b c Archbold, Rich (2019-09-20). "At 97, Dottie May Frazier has led an extraordinary life but she isn't done – she's aiming for 100". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  3. ^ a b "Dottie Frazier". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  4. ^ Archbold, Rich. "Belmont Shore Native Remembers '33 Earthquake As Scary, Exciting".
  5. ^ "Dottie Frazier , 2000". The Women Divers Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  6. ^ "Five Remarkable Scuba Diving Women". Sport Diver. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  7. ^ Archbold, Rich (2018-03-01). "Rich Archbold column: For Dottie May Frazier, the Great 1933 Long Beach Earthquake was a scary adventure". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  8. ^ Sallmon, Allison Vitsky (2020-07-16). "The Mothers of Invention: A Brief History of the Evolution of Women's Dive Gear". Scuba Diving. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  9. ^ a b Reynaud, Hélène (2020-06-15). "Famous Female Divers: Dottie Frazier". Scuba Diver Life. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  10. ^ Clark, Tec (2016-12-27). "League of Extraordinary Divers 004: Dottie Frazier". ScubaGuru. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  11. ^ Gallant, Jeffrey (2020-04-04). "FRAZIER, Dottie May". Diving Almanac & Book of Records. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  12. ^ Dowsett, Kathy (2020-03-22). "Dottie Frazier, Breaking Scuba Diving Barriers". The Scuba News. Retrieved 2020-12-11.